Video Game Tuesday: What other MMOs can learn from FFXIV

This week for Video Game Tuesday is I’m covering a topic that sets apart my favorite MMO from all others. It’s all about What other MMOs can learn from FFXIV!

What is the biggest difference?: Well it’s really simple, Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV) makes you feel like the hero of the story, and not just some passenger to an NPC’s story. No in Final Fantasy almost every NPC knows about you. You’ve killed gods, brought end to wars and taken down dragons. The NPCs you work with always acknowledge that you are the key figure in these fights, that without you none of it could have been possible.

Really?: World of Warcraft has had issues for years where no matter how powerful your character became, you were always not the main participant of the story. You as the player were never the hero in the story. Sure you might have taken down Nefarian, stopped C’Thun in Ahn’Qhiraj, killed Illidan and beaten Kiljaedan through the Sunwell. You might have brought down the Lich King and killed a dragon gone mad with power that tore apart the world, but you never really were the main character.

This problem is highlighted most with the Lich King encounter at the end of Wrath of the Lich King. You bring down Arthas all the way to 10% and boom you and your entire raid die. But Tirion Fordring, breaks from the ice that kept him out of the entire fight, breaks Frostmourne and deals the fatal blow to Arthas.  You the player on the other hand are shoved to the side until you get resurrected and hurry him along to death. There’s no thanks other than maybe a statue of the races of your faction in Dalaran if you killed him first on your server and some shiny weapons. That’s it, you get no real recognition. You may get a few NPCs thanking you, but in general you aren’t proclaimed the hero and lauded throughout the world. You were just there, helping Tirion while he slept in a block of ice until he decided to get out of it and finish the fight you were dealing with.

Final Fantasy XIV doesn’t have that problem and lots of MMOs, including not MMOs like Destiny, could do with learning from how Final Fantasy treats the player. You are treated as a hero, and even other players aren’t treated like you are by NPCs. It makes you feel special and gives further immersion into the world of Hydaelyn.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What are your thought son the subject? Do you feel like the main character in MMOs, or just a minor actor compared to some NPC hero. Leave your comments below.

Video Game Tuesday: Transmog Systems

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m continuing last week’s theme of customization. It’s all about Transmog Systems!

Transmog Systems?: Transmog, or Transmogrification is a term used in World of Warcraft that was introduced in Patch 4.3. It was a system that allowed the player to change the appearance of their armor to match other armor that they owned. It wasn’t the first of it’s kind, but it’s the one that gets pointed at the most in my experience. There might be other names in other games, in Final Fantasy XIV for example it’s called the Glamour System, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

What’s your favorite one?: Personally I’m a fan of Final Fantasy XIV’s system although World of Warcraft has the advantage of a library system to go with Transmog. Final Fantasy XIV’s is much less rigid, and allows you to modify almost any item to look like most others. Many items aren’t restricted by class, but there are some like the Artifact gear. I’d love to see a library system added to Final Fantasy XIV, but I know that doing so takes a lot of time to create and given that Final Fantasy XIV has a dye option as well, it’d be very hard to implement. However in FFXIV unlike WoW, you can wear ridiculous outfits into battle, do you want to be dressed up in a metallic gold pig suit as you run into battle swinging a big axe? Go ahead, that’s completely ok. WoW doesn’t allow for that which is a pity.

What games would you like to see a glamour system in?: Destiny for one would be a great place, but given how small of a pool of options that game has it’s probably not going to happen soon, although who knows with Destiny 2 supposedly coming out this year.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, what is your favorite transmog system? What games do you wish had transmog? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Video Game Tuesday: Console Mods

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a subject that I find both frustrating and interesting. It’s all about Console Mods.

Why frustrating?: Because companies like Bethesda have made an effort to bring mods to consoles, but are doing a terrible job of it. They won’t properly curate the mods for games like Skyrim’s Special Edition and Fallout 4, and this causes many mod authors to have their work stolen by thieves without proper acknowledgement. I know if they did acknowledge it that a lot of mod makers wouldn’t be so upset, but the fact is that Bethesda has done a piss poor job with their efforts to bring mods to consoles. I’m not surprised that Sony won’t allow Bethesda to bring mods with unique assets to the PlayStation 4, they just don’t respect the mod authors that breathed so much life into games on the PC. Skyrim has a thriving mod community, but Bethesda has continuously screwed them over, with paying for mods on Steam and the console mod debacle.

There’s other games and companies that won’t allow mods, like Square Enix with Final Fantasy XIV. However Square Enix actually has a valid reason, FFXIV is an MMORPG and as any MMO gamer will tell you, if a portion of the audience can’t download mods the mods are next to useless. Plus theres the toxicity that comes with mods like Damage Meters, something that can quickly devolve into huge flame wars on forums and chat channels.  I used mods when I played World of Warcraft, and I required all my raiders/guildmates to install them if they wanted to raid. Some were invaluable, like Deadly Boss Mods, while others were just for fun, like Bejeweled. All of them were useful in one way or another, but I don’t regret not having them in FFXIV. I actually enjoy that I don’t need any mods or VoIP programs to succeed in doing the hardest content. Yes it’s helpful, especially the VoIP programs, but they aren’t necessary at all.

Why interesting?: Because I love mods, some of my favorite game modes in games like Warcraft III were mods like the Angel Arena maps. They had custom models and I had great respect for those who made those models. I hope one day we’ll be able to use mods on consoles properly and add fun things like Thomas the Tank Engine to games like Skyrim in the future. But until such mods are properly curated and monitored we won’t be getting them with any amount of frequency if at all.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

Video Game Tuesday: For Chris Metzen

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m honoring a legend. It’s For Chris Metzen!

Chris Metzen?: Chris Metzen was Blizzard Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development. In other words he had the final say on what the story of pretty much every Blizzard Game. He worked on pretty much every game they made in at least one form or another starting with Justice League Task Force and the original Warcraft up to the most recent launch of World of Warcraft: Legion. He also was a concept artist and voice actor for many of Blizzard’s video games. He voiced Thrall for example in every Warcraft game that Thrall appears in.

Wow, so what is happening?: He’s retiring, to spend more time with his family. It’s really hard for artists to let go of their pet projects, and Warcraft was definitely Metzen’s baby. So I respect him for having the courage and resolve to retire and spend time with his family instead of staying on to watch over his work.

He’s not staying in Game Development?: Nope, he really just wants to spend time with his family, and won’t be joining any other game studios. Again I really respect him for this choice, but given his success I have no doubt he’s pretty much set for life by now.

So what’s up with the picture above, it looks like a statue?: It is Blizzard’s farewell present to Chris for everything he’s done for the studio, which is a huge amount. It will be erected soon™.

So Chris I hope you have a fun time being a fan instead of a developer in the future! The industry will have lost one of it’s greatest, but your legacy will live on for many, many years.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

Video Game Tuesday: What Makes Good Seasonal Events

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic many MMO players will recognize! It’s all about What Makes Good Seasonal Events!

Seasonal Events?: I mean stuff like Brewfest in World of Warcraft, or The Rising in Final Fantasy XIV. These events come up every year and celebrate either a real holiday or a game related one, Brewfest is WoW’s version of Oktoberfest, and The Rising is FFXIV: A Realm Reborn’s launch anniversary holiday.

Okay so what’s an example of a good Seasonal Event?: Last year’s The Rising was an amazing event that brought the players and developers closer together than any other in game event I’ve ever participated in. To give some context, I did the “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been” Achievement in WoW, twice (Switched mains right after Wrath launched.)  But more importantly it needs to allow spontaneous engagement and disengagement depending on the player. Having to wait to participate in the event sucks, and should be an open world thing. Not something locked behind a Matchmaking tool.

What’s an example of a bad Seasonal Event?: Sparrow Racing League from Destiny is a great example, to get anything useful out of the event, other than having fun, it took tons of races to unlock even decently relevant items and the dreaded RNG still might screw you over (I know it did for me!). Not only that, but SRL hasn’t returned since it’s one and only launch, despite constant requests by the community to reactivate it. Oh and it didn’t fulfill the above requirements, at all.

Here’s a list of my favorite in-game events: 1. The Rising, for reasons I linked above. 2. The Wrath of the Lich King Pre-launch event, aka The Zombie Plague (Yes it was a one time thing, but damn if it wasn’t some of the best fun I had in that game outside of ICC25H.) 3. Children’s Week, Because I loved to hear people complain about bringing the orphans into PvP for the achievement (Pro-tip: Do it on the very first day of the event, although I think they made it a Feat of Strength and it doesn’t count towards What a Long Strange Trip anymore.)

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! Are there any fun Seasonal Events you love? Leave a comment below!